The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language - Mark Forsyth, Don Hagen The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language - Mark Forsyth

Forsyth is British, or so I am guessing from some of his language usage. The narrator is most assuredly American. Thus it is very strange to hear what are very British turns of phrase issuing forth with a very American accent.

 

Again I've chosen a book that perhaps should not be read straight through but in short burst, perhaps like an amuse bouche or a palate cleanser. The narrative style here is the etymologist's stream of consciousness; he jumps, quite logically, from word to the next showing how they are connected and where they come from. I'm not sure that I can do  hours straight of this "circular" --his word, not mine-- journey.

 

Sometimes, however I do question some of the etymologies he proposes. Sometimes the word origins that he gives read more like the folk origins that we have scoffed at when presented for other etymologies.

 

BTW, I'm finding his Horologicon to be equally as strange to read in a straight shoot; definitely one of those books that you want in hard copy (not e-reader) so that you can pick it up, flip through and just start reading wherever strikes your fancy.